tv [untitled] July 24, 2012 9:00am-9:30am PDT
>> welcome to the center. [applause] hello, i am philip ginsburg, the general manager of your san francisco recreation and park city apartment. i want to thank you, thank you, thank you for joining us on this great occasion. this is such a great moment for us, not only because we're opening what is arguably the best recreation center in the city and county of san francisco, but i also get to practice my chinese. [says hello in chinese]
[my name is phil ginsburg in chinese] [speaking chinese] welcome to the chinese recreation center. [cheers and applause] a for effort. we're killing time. i could try to do it again. no. all right, 61 years ago, major robinson officially opened the doors to the original chinese recreation center here at washington and mason streets. in those 61 years, there have been generations of chinatown kids who have grown up playing here and who have considered this their second home, their backyard, their place to play. a safe place to meet friends, exercise, or as we like to say at the san francisco recreation and park department, a place to
just get out and play. chinese rec was never the biggest and certainly not the fanciest recreation center, although i think it is now. but it definitely, definitely, definitely was the most beloved. in a neighborhood like this or population density is one of the highest in the city and where parks and open space are severely limited, recreation centers like this are crucial to the health and well-being of our kids, our families, and san francisco's residents. this new recreation center is a result of what all of us have accomplished together, including san francisco voters who approved the 2008 clean and safe neighborhood parks bond, our elected officials, our chinatown community leaders, residents, city staff, and everyone who has a deep connection and history here at the chinese rec center. we like to say at the recreation and park department that we cannot do it alone.
so we want to thank everyone who has had a hand in building this incredible facility. [applause] we have got a few acknowledgements. it is only going to take two and a half to three hours to get through them. [laughter] so bear with me. obviously, want to thank our incredible mayor who you're going to hear from later on, mayor edwin lee. [applause] i want to thank board of supervisors president david chiu. [applause] i also want to sing of board members eric mar and scott wiener who are behind me joining us today -- want to single out these board members. [applause] but let's give a big round of applause to the entire board of supervisors who have proven to be incredible park champions and really understand the importance of parks and recreation to the
quality of life to san franciscans. [applause] i want to thank the incredible leadership of our recreation and park commission. the president of our commission, who you will hear from later on is here, mark b. will -- buell. [applause] also commissioner harrison and commissioner levitan. [applause] as i said, we do not do these things ourselves. we cannot do it alone. we cannot have done it without the incredible partnership of the department of public works. mohammed, and want to thank you and your entire team. [applause] i also want to think plant construction which built this incredible $21 million facility. [applause]
again, you're going to hear from harry young in just a little bit, but our hearts and our appreciation goes out to the ang family. for all of your involvement in this facility and your leadership, and i can think of no better way to honor the legacy of betty ann ung -- ong. leading the way for the san francisco recreation and park department is our incredible partner, the san francisco parks alliance. representing the alliance is the executive director matt o'grady, and the president of the board, rosemary cameron, is here someplace.
thank you. [applause]our monitors at the re want to keep our parks clean, safe, and fun, and no one is more important -- no entity is more important in keeping it said in the san francisco police department. chief suhr, thank you very much. [applause] i saw the commander and the captain here. let's give them a big round of applause. [applause] this facility has got some absolutely incredible public art, and when we rebuild our recreation centers and facilities, it is an opportunity to invest in the incredible art in our city. i want to thank the director of the san francisco arts commission, the project manager, the artist collect, and others for the incredible beauty inside the center. thank you, tom.
[applause] we have a special certificate. nadia conrad wanted to make a brief presentation to the rec center. >> thank you. i am here with the office of tom amiano, and we wanted to congratulate this special day. we're happy to be part of the celebration. we love the fact that they chose a great and heroic individual to name this historic building after. so thank you very much for the invitation. >> thank you. [applause] part of what the recreation and park department has created to help us stewart, again under the model that we cannot do it along, all of our major
recreation centers have recreation councils. the councils are composed of caring and committed community members that really will help us guide the center, help us keep it clean, help us protected, and tell us what kind of programming and special events are important to keep the center vibrant and robust. want to give a big shot to the betty ann ong community recreation council. many of the members are here today. [applause] our bond dollars allowance to build new buildings, but they did not actually allow us to put anything in the buildings. again, i am so grateful for the philanthropy from the san francisco parts alliance, and in particular, the betty ann ong foundation and the ong family for your generosity and making sure that when the kids walk in here in a few moments, there's
all kinds of incredible stuff to do, and maybe even a ping pong table for me to duke it out with the mayor. [laughter] a big round up to the chinatown community development center for your leadership and guidance in making sure that this facility is exactly what it needs to be. let's get a big round of applause to ccdc. [cheers and applause] a big thank you to the chinese chamber of commerce. thank you, chinese chamber of commerce. [applause] a big thank you to the community for better parks and recreation in chinatown for your help and assistance with the facility. let's go, keep it up. [applause] last but certainly not least,
and i know you saved your biggest, strongest round of applause for this special group of people, the hardest working staffers in city government, the recreation and park department. i want to start with our capital division. planning director don and our project manager who built this thing. [applause] i want to thank jimmy, our former facility coordinator here. he has got a great jump shot. [applause] our rec staff, harry, serene, jennifer, the new facility coordinator here. [applause] michelle, richard, kerry, recreation supervisor. jerry, our parks services manager. marianne. and our custodian supervisor, cliff, who is going to help us
keep this place clean. a big round of applause for them. [applause] and last but not least, a really warm round of applause. you all know her, the former area supervisor here and longtime advocate of this facility, elaine tom. where are you? [applause] fantastic. >> all right, and this is actually going to be dramatic because here he comes. the man i am going to introduce is not moses, but he is close. the biggest supporter of parks and brachiate -- recreation and open space in this city.
he understands the importance to our neighborhoods and communities of having clean and safe places to play. he has been an advocate for parks, open space, and recreation, even as director of the department of public works and as city administrator. the thing i love most about him is his youthful spirit and competitive fire. this is the guy who is not just our mayor, but he is a ping-pong player. he loves to shoot hoops. he loves baseball. he is a big sports fan. he loves our kids. the thing i tried to model after him the most is the ability to play and to bring joy to the job. ladies and gentlemen, our mayor, edwin lee. [cheers and applause] >> first of all, thank you, everybody, for coming here and help us open the betty ann ong
rec center. [applause] we're going to say that name a very, very often from here on. it is great opportunity. we were here just last september, putting in the final beam with the ong family and with so many of the community agencies, from the chamber to associations, to the community youth center, the chinatown development center. and i remember, even the previous time when supervisor chu and i were right in this building -- supervisor chiu and i were right here in this building when fire victims needed a place to be. now we have a rec center that will also be the community emergency center, so that if there is any big event that ever happens that affects this community, they will have a seismically safe center for people to come in and get the
services that they need. more than that on a daily basis -- and thanks to rec and park. thanks to the water for commission. thanks to the board of supervisors. i see scott and eric mar and david chiu behind me. we have embraced our parks bond and our whole capital planning to make sure that we put enough money and discipline into these wonderful rec centers and these park attributes and so on. so very happy to share this moment with the president of the rec and park commission. mark buell is here with all the wonderful staff. the staff that dpw has been working with rec and park. by the way, on budget, below budget and on time -- are you kidding? wonderful. [applause] but, you know, the spirit of all this is really two areas. it is the celebration of our
community, but it is also the reason why we all agreed to name this betty ann ong rec center. because it is part of the history of a hero coming from chinatown, san francisco. and i n you -- 9/11 is right around the corner. while, as tragic as that event was for the whole country, we do have our heroes. we have people who stepped up and saved thousands of more lives. these are heroes to the country. so i began this really with a very personal thanks to harry and the whole ong family. kathy and mrs. ong are here as well. thank you for letting us celebrate a wonderful life in contribution to our own american history. the name here is not only embedded on the walls here, but we have that time capsule that
we did in september so that in future generations, many people will hear about this name, hear about why it is important to remember the ong family and betty and her heroic efforts to save lives. but we also have generations of children of a family that will be here that will know the reason why we need this important institution in our community after someone who sacrificed her life and was a hero to all of us. with that, if i may present to the ong family -- my personal privilege and on behalf of the whole city, the board, police department, community organizations, i would like to proclaim today, in recognition of this event, the center and the naming of it, betty ann ong chinese rec saturday in san francisco. [applause]
-- betty ann ong chinese rec center day in san francisco. [applause] >> the mayor mentioned the time capsule. during the time capsule, the mayor actually challenged me to a little bit of a ping-pong when the center finally opened. so i accept your challenge. [laughter] >> it is on like don teton -- donkey kong. [laughter] >> the spirit of this place is one of joy and one of play. i want to bring up the president of our board of supervisors, who just a couple weeks ago, we had the pleasure of hitting a few tennis balls together at the wong playground where we just redid a couple of tennis courts, and pretty good, president chiu.
i want to think david chiu for his leadership and incredible support of our department and his love of play. ladies and gentlemen, supervisor david chiu. >> the sun is shining and the community today. who is excited about the opening of the chinese rec center? [applause] i want to thank all of you for being part of this celebration of our communities history, our present and our future. 1951, 60 years ago from our first kids began playing in the chinese rec center. they became adults and had children themselves. they have become grandparents and have had grandchildren who will play in this facility. and i am also so heartened to be here with all of you to celebrate the history and the memory of betty ann ong. to the ong family, you and betty will be symbols of for us for the rest of our time on what
it means to be a heroine. we are here to celebrate our president. wasn't just a few years ago that this entire community came together with the leadership of ccdc and a.n.d. and our rec and park advocates and the parks alliance to push for a bond measure in 2008 that led us to this project. i also want to mention, on tuesday, three days from now, the board of supervisors is going to put another rec and park bond measure on the november ballot to make sure we continue to rebuild a new parks and playgrounds, including the willie wu wu wong playground were phil ginsburg and i just played a little bit of tennis. [applause] a dubai could just say for the future with this building is for -- and if i could just say for the future what this building is for. if you look around, there are not just hundreds of adults here. we see kids. we see lots of kids. i know that there are children
among us and young people among us will be our next leaders here in san francisco. they will follow scott wiener, eric mar, and myself and the board of supervisors. hopefully someday they will follow major lee has the next mayor of this city. and, as a basketball fan, i hope they also followed jeremy lin in being able to play for the future san francisco warriors. [applause] so thank you for being a part of our history. thank you for being a part of our present. thank you for being part of our future. thank you for being part of san francisco. [applause] >> thank you, david. david mentioned the 2008 and the 2012 park bonds but those are a creature of the city's 10-year capital plan. i want to recognize the leader of that effort, our city administrator naomi kelly. thank you for all of your support. [applause] supervisor eric mar was elected in november 2008 to represent
the district 1, the richmond district. for over two decades, he has been a dedicated and response of advocate for working families, youth, seniors, small businesses, and all the diverse residents of the richmond district in san francisco. eric and i have had a great pleasure of working very closely together in golden gate park on a number of issues. i want to thank you for all of your tireless efforts on behalf of kids, families, and parks. it isn't uncommon, eric mar. >> thank you, everyone. this is an incredible new rec center. it has been 50 years since it has been built, but it has been a 10-year struggle of the community. many of the people that are here to advocate with tremendous assistance to all wanted to thank the ong family for their support. also the rec and park department, dpw, and everyone is here. asian and neighborhoods and design, and many community groups have been key in supporting this. 20 years ago, over 20 years ago, when i could still run and jump
the time, i used to play here regularly. i was an aspiring point guard on the basketball court. but i am so happy that new generations of young kids i can see back here will be the ones to benefit generations to come. also, mr. ginsberg mention the rec and park bond on the november ballot. we need to support that so that we have beautiful rec centers and play fields for everyone throughout the city, because it is an important part of making the city livable -- lovable and healthy for everyone. thank you for being here, everyone. i am proud to be here with you. [applause] >> the center on the board of supervisors basketball team and the greatest -- and the supervisor who has not missed a park and recreation opening because of his commitment to youth, families, and to open space, scott wiener.
[applause] >> thank you, phil. you know, we have a lot of different neighborhoods in this city that are so different from one another in a lot of ways, and sometimes rugged broken down into this neighborhood, that neighborhood. but as we go around the city, the one thing that is exactly the same in every single neighborhood is that people want rec centers. they want public space. the what libraries. the one great parks. we all want a sense of community and being able to be with other people in our community. and that is the same everywhere. so this is incredibly exciting. what is also exciting is that in this era of all the mess in washington and sacramento and parts of the state where rec centers and libraries and state parks are closing down, we are actually rebuilding our rec centers and our libraries. we are refurbishing our parks. we are expanded the hours.
we're making it better and better for our citizens, and that speaks the world of san francisco's commitment to our park system, our anger centers, and to our libraries. it makes it a very exciting time to be in san francisco. congratulations to everyone. [applause] >> thank you, scott. recreation and park commission president mark buell has been a true leader on key part issues that affect our parks across the city. his leadership, his vision, his steadiness, his stability has helped revitalize the recreation and park department. ladies and gentlemen, mark buell. [applause] >> thank you. i will be brief. but there is an old saying that victory has many parents and defeat is an orphan. and the many parents of this victory are here today. the mayor of the board of supervisors, the department, but none more so than the people standing up in the audience, the people who supported this by supporting the 2008 bond measure
that made this possible. and these cannot happen overnight, so give yourself an applause for that. [applause] rose reminded me earlier today that this renovation got started 10 years ago, so things do not happen fast, but they do happen. let me tell you the the point of pride that i think this community should have. this is the largest single investment in a recreation center in all of san francisco and it is here in chinatown. so give yourself another hand for that. [applause] with that, i want to close and say that i think the staff and the department, operating in an era of reduced budgets in greater demand, is doing a better job than ever, and want to tip my hat to phil ginsburg and the entire staff for what they have done to make this happen. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, boss. mohammed nuru has been a longtime friend of our
department. this is, after all, am public works, o angeles -- public works. mo and his staff have been incredible in building. thank you for prioritizing parks. mohammed nuru. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you, everyone from ever coming out today. on behalf of the department of public works, and want to thank the recreation and park department for being a great partner with dpw. across the city, we have been able to work and recreation centers like this. chinatown, as you have heard, is one of the most dense neighborhoods in our country. so facilities like this are very, very important for us to provide. most importantly, what do think the architect and design team that worked very, very closely with the community, all the community groups, to make sure that the center and the correct activities are being designed as
part of this project. especially. wong, stanly, michele, and farah. a big hand to them because there were the designers. [applause] i also want to think david, the construction manager of all the dpw staff and all the contractors to came here. on a project like this on the bottom of a slope with the cable cars, there's a lot of activity. as you heard, we were able to deliver the product on time, on budget, but even better, below budget. again, we're working very hard together. lastly, you heard about all the art in the building. i want to point out this particular ceramic over here. orange, ground, and gray. those all locally-made in the bay area. by using locally-made products, where serbs -- supporting our economy in the bay area. thank you to mayor lee and his leadership in making sure we
continue to support local businesses in many of our projects. thank you very much. congratulations. and i know there are many more projects to come. thank you. [applause] >> hollande to do a great shout out to the recreation park department two superintendents -- i want to do a shout out. one is in charge of parks, one recreation. they keep this facility clean, safe, beautiful, and funding. ann and -- anna and bob. they're both here. [applause] last year, the mayor led the effort to rename the chinese recreation center in honor of one of the city's own and a national heroine. betty ann ong was a flight attendant on american airlines flight 11 on september 11, two thousand one. her quick-thinking and brave actions during the fight -- flight probably saved thousands of additional lives. harry ong, her brother, is here on behalf of ong family and
their foundation which is been jitters and heartfelt in raising funds to furnish this new -- which has been so generous and heartfelt and raising funds to furnish this new recreation center. [applause] >> get afternoon, ladies and to win. thank you, phil ginsburg. the family thanks ed lee and the san francisco recreation park in rec commission in naming this new wonderful and beautiful city facility the betty ann ong chinese recreation center. we also thank the people of the city and county of san francisco, the petition-signers, and everyone involved in urging that the center be named after betty. it is a tremendous privilege to the new center that it be named after betty, and our family does not taken lightly. in so doing, it is an honor and a tribute not only to betty and her legacy, but also for all